NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene

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waver

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #200 on: 30 Oct 2013, 04:53 pm »
While making changes to my own NC-400 based stereo amp, I make direct comparisons to my Pass Labs X-150.5, the 150.5 stays constant, hence I have a static reference for comparisons.  Without the static reference, it would be more difficult to make accurate conclusions regarding any changes.  Note, that the poster of this thread, compared stock NC-400 modules directly with his modded versions, rather than trying to compare by memory.
making comparisions with another amp doesn't make an amp better or worse than the other, it's only you that like one better than the other. It says nothing about the amp itself.

waver

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #201 on: 30 Oct 2013, 04:56 pm »
What I also wonder about, is why would any self declared objectivist think that THD measurements define amplifier performance?
what i also wonder about is why all self declared subjectivists declare themselfs fully capable of discerning that one amp is 'better' than the other - yes there might be a difference, but at this level i doubt that a human is able to discerne that the change is for the 'better' and not accounting his personal preferences!

PS. just to be clear, i don't think that THD defines performance!
« Last Edit: 30 Oct 2013, 07:41 pm by waver »

waver

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #202 on: 30 Oct 2013, 08:36 pm »
It seems therer are quite a few folks on this thread who want very badly to believe that NC-400 based amplifiers are perfect in all regards - this is delusional. They are very good, and especially very good for the price of admission, but they are far from perfect.
sorry to disappoint you, can't remember reading here that the NC400 is perfect!
But i have a hard time to believe that simply changing few capacitors will "greatly improve the sound", "the sound is more open", "the highs are significantly more detailed, vocals more etched and lifelike the bass has good weight but sounds more defined."

Now, you answer this question if you please: what could keep Bruno from using these capacitors in the first place (if all these improvements would be so obvious and true)?
The price of these few capacitors? I highly doubt it!

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #203 on: 30 Oct 2013, 09:58 pm »
People here do indeed keep talking past one another.

I have never said the ncore is perfect, beyond improvement, or "the best". I have never said that modding the ncore won't result in an amp that sounds better to the modder.

I have never said that measurements determine the perception of an amp's sound.

What I have said repeatedly, though several readers seem to have trouble grasping the concept, is that without measurements, you can't say if your mod is an improvement in an objective, absolute sense. All you can say is that you prefer the new sound. It may indeed have improved the performance. Without any measurements, we have no idea if it is real improvement in performance or simply perception. How can anyone dispute this with a straight face?

OzarkTom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #204 on: 30 Oct 2013, 10:37 pm »
I don't believe you can measure openness, detail, transparency, and holographic imaging by a measurement, only by the human ear.

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #205 on: 30 Oct 2013, 10:47 pm »
I don't believe you can measure openness, detail, transparency, and holographic imaging by a measurement, only by the human ear.

Perhaps because those are all subjective and are open to interpretation. Like I said, if you can't measure it, you can't prove a performance improvement. All you have done is changed it, maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. There is no way to know without a set of before and after measurements. You may like it better, but that doesn't mean you have improved it.

Ric Schultz

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #206 on: 30 Oct 2013, 10:54 pm »
4 Realities:

1.  The belief in objectivity (measurements)
2.  The ability to pull it off (technical know how and talent and perserverance)

3.  The belief in subjectivity (that all things sound different and you can hear them and know what is better sound and remember without blind tests)
4.  The ability to pull it off (years of listening tests on tweaky systems with heart and mind and ears open)

Let's say you quantify each of the above with a zero to 100 score.  I would say Bruno is 100% of number one....at least 90% of number 2......but what about 3 and 4?  Does he really believe that all things sound different?  Has he spent hours and hours doing listening tests to different brands of resistors, wires, solder, caps, damping methods, grounding methods, circuit designs, removing LEDs, removing steel plates from transformers, etc. etc.?  Has he taken Wima polyprop caps and ground off the ends and attached his own Wonder Solder signature tinned 6N copper wires and marked the caps for outside foil and done a listening test?  Not hardly.  The guy is making a fortune selling amps to all kinds of manufacturers (I bet mostly to sub amp people and the pro market).  He does not have time for such things.  He is designing all kinds of things right now.  He want to be successful (make a lot of money). 

I emailed Nelson Pass a few months ago about the fact that I was going to mod his First Watt amps and I told him I would help him with tweaking his products and even do it for cheap or free.  He replied that what I do is valid but "he has no interest in it".  He is making great money doing what he wants (circuit design) and has no interest in going down the long tunnel of tweakdom.  You see.....tweaking is like life....it is infinite....an infinite Pandoras box....yup.  You will never get to the end.  You will never reach "perfection".  Once you do a few straight wire bypass tests and realize that even a small piece of wire is audible....well....you realize that the game is never ending.  The objectivists live in a simple world.  I envy such simplicity.  Nelson had no problem with me playing with or modding his gear.  He does not resist tweaking........he just has no interest in it.

You realize that it has never been proven that lower measured distortion actually brings better sound (amps and preamps, not speakers).  No double blind test has ever showed that anything below .1 percent distortion is audible.  So, what is all this about measurements?  Why not use a 1975 Kenwood integrated amp?  Some of the most revered amps currently are the DiAgostino amps and the Dartzeel amps.  These both have no overall feedback and measure like it (highish distortion and highish output impedance).....but people LOVE how they sound.  What is real?  What is really neutral?  What is really transparent?  Only your ears will tell you.  Please try a straight wire bypass test on your Ncore or whatever.....it is possible to do.  Then you will see how transparent it really is or isn't.

Most things that change the sound are not measureable.  This is the truth.  Changing the caps will not change the measurements.  Using better wire, better damping, better jacks, better fuses, etc. etc. will not change any measurement whatsoever......but it does change the sound. 

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #207 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:05 pm »
but it does change the sound.

No one said it doesn't change the sound. What has been said is that the change, without measurement, can not be said to be an improvement, only a change. A change some people might find agreeable, some not. Your preferences are not universal.

OzarkTom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #208 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:19 pm »
Do all audiophiles a favor cab, never become an audio reviewer.

OzarkTom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #209 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:22 pm »
At least 17.5

Wow, you must have ESPN or something. You are correct.

Rclark

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #210 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:28 pm »
I would greatly trust Cab's impressions on gear. No ground unicorn horn or fairy dust in his appraisals.

Folsom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #211 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:33 pm »
The funny thing is that usually a big increase in desired traits is really obvious to all listener, while we lack words for it consensus is pretty easy to achieve. In fact so much so that people read reviews of equipment and find the word of learned-to-trust reviewers to be as good as objective data. I shit you not, outside of this website there are entire magazines and other websites dedicated to this obviously philosophical flop. Sadly a profound oppression of incoming money keeps these dishonest instituitions on every magazine rack and search engine.

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #212 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:38 pm »
Do all audiophiles a favor cab, never become an audio reviewer.

Don't worry, I wouldn't dream that my personal preferences mean anything to anyone but myself.

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #213 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:43 pm »
The funny thing is that usually a big increase in desired traits is really obvious to all listener, while we lack words for it consensus is pretty easy to achieve. In fact so much so that people read reviews of equipment and find the word of learned-to-trust reviewers to be as good as objective data.

No, it can also mean that certain people have similar likes. Find a reviewer that has similar likes, and maybe you can learn to trust their opinion. Doesn't mean it applies to everyone. How many times have people read a review and scratched their heads after hearing the equipment?

The fact that there are so many different makers of equipment means there are many differing opinions on what sounds "best". Look at all the differing opinions on rooms at audio shows.

The only opinion that matters is your own. If it works for you, great. Just don't tell me it will work for me.

barrows

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #214 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:48 pm »
No one said it doesn't change the sound. What has been said is that the change, without measurement, can not be said to be an improvement, only a change. A change some people might find agreeable, some not. Your preferences are not universal.

Cab: your statement is not true.  Here is why:  Take amplifier A (unmodded NC-400 amp) and amplifier B (identical NC-400, except with the cap mod described here).  Now, listen to a cello playing in your listening room, and at the same time capture the playback at 24/192, DSD 128, or whatever you prefer.
Now playback and compare the sound of the two amps, with the live cello sound as your reference.  Whichever amp sounds closer to the real thing is better, not just different.

jtwrace

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #215 on: 30 Oct 2013, 11:57 pm »
Cab: your statement is not true.  Here is why:  Take amplifier A (unmodded NC-400 amp) and amplifier B (identical NC-400, except with the cap mod described here).  Now, listen to a cello playing in your listening room, and at the same time capture the playback at 24/192, DSD 128, or whatever you prefer.
Now playback and compare the sound of the two amps, with the live cello sound as your reference.  Whichever amp sounds closer to the real thing is better, not just different.


Interesting.  Then can you explain this to us?  What don't you like about it?


Ted: I really do not feel like I should comment further here.  There is plenty of information on the Amenero USB interface at diyaudio.com for those who would like to learn more.Personally, I feel the USB interface is a critical part of any DAC where the primary playback is going to be from a computer/server source, and there are big differences in the performance of different USB interfaces.It sure would be nice if all Async USB interfaces were equal, but that is surely not the case.  A USB interface can be a stumbling block for many manufacturers, especially smaller ones, who do not have the resources (computer engineers comfortable with high speed data design and programming) to develop and perfect their own interface.  Even the popular XMOS chip requires quite a bit of specialized skills to be implemented well.

cab

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #216 on: 31 Oct 2013, 12:12 am »
Cab: your statement is not true.  Here is why:  Take amplifier A (unmodded NC-400 amp) and amplifier B (identical NC-400, except with the cap mod described here).  Now, listen to a cello playing in your listening room, and at the same time capture the playback at 24/192, DSD 128, or whatever you prefer.
Now playback and compare the sound of the two amps, with the live cello sound as your reference.  Whichever amp sounds closer to the real thing is better, not just different.

No, it is true. Not everyone will agree on which amp is "better", it is subjective, therefore, different.

waver

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #217 on: 31 Oct 2013, 12:22 am »
Cab: your statement is not true.  Here is why:  Take amplifier A (unmodded NC-400 amp) and amplifier B (identical NC-400, except with the cap mod described here).  Now, listen to a cello playing in your listening room, and at the same time capture the playback at 24/192, DSD 128, or whatever you prefer.
Now playback and compare the sound of the two amps, with the live cello sound as your reference.  Whichever amp sounds closer to the real thing is better, not just different.
gotcha: you have no ideea how the cello really sounded as you were not in the room where the recordings (you use for testing) were done! And guess what, not all cellos sound the same, in case you compare it to the cello you might have in the room, as your (listening) room will color the sound of the cello in a different way that the recording room has done.
And there's one more thing: picking up the cello with microphone A will sound different from picking it up with microphone B. Enter the recording engineer that processes the recording, changing the sound of the cello to his liking.

So, what do you compare the sound of the cello from the recordings with, when you don't know how it really sounded originally?
And if you try to compare it with the sound from the concert last week, may i ask do you compare the sound of the cello listened from the first row middle, seventh row middle or the sound of the cello where the microphones were placed?

Folsom

Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #218 on: 31 Oct 2013, 01:33 am »
No, it can also mean that certain people have similar likes. Find a reviewer that has similar likes, and maybe you can learn to trust their opinion. Doesn't mean it applies to everyone. How many times have people read a review and scratched their heads after hearing the equipment?

The fact that there are so many different makers of equipment means there are many differing opinions on what sounds "best". Look at all the differing opinions on rooms at audio shows.

The only opinion that matters is your own. If it works for you, great. Just don't tell me it will work for me.

I'll write it again.

"Learned-to-trust" as in a combination word that becomes an adjective; describing a someone/thing that someone had learned (gained experiances that set in information to their brain) to trust (believing that whatever potential is suggested by, is reasonable)

barrows

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Re: NC400 WIMA capacitor modification - polyester to polypropylene
« Reply #219 on: 31 Oct 2013, 04:21 am »
gotcha: you have no ideea how the cello really sounded as you were not in the room where the recordings (you use for testing) were done! And guess what, not all cellos sound the same, in case you compare it to the cello you might have in the room, as your (listening) room will color the sound of the cello in a different way that the recording room has done.
And there's one more thing: picking up the cello with microphone A will sound different from picking it up with microphone B. Enter the recording engineer that processes the recording, changing the sound of the cello to his liking.

So, what do you compare the sound of the cello from the recordings with, when you don't know how it really sounded originally?
And if you try to compare it with the sound from the concert last week, may i ask do you compare the sound of the cello listened from the first row middle, seventh row middle or the sound of the cello where the microphones were placed?

Read my statement again.  The example requires one to hear the cello playing during the recording session live in the room.  Yes, there will be small differences due to microphone choice, placement, etc, but anyone who has actual experience doing this kind of test will hear much larger differences between the live sound, and the playback sound.  Unfortunately, even high end audio systems are very far from sounding the same as the real thing.
So far, from what I am hearing here-it appears that folks calling themselves objectivists actually choose all their audio components based on measurements alone?!!  Really?  I have heard some awful sounding amplifiers with fantastic measurements, and yes, I am quite confident that the amplifiers I am referring to were bad, not just different.  Now I have nothing against measurements, indeed they are necessary to confirm that nothing is grossly wrong and that the circuit is behaving as expected-but there is no respectable audio engineer which I am aware of which does not also rely on listening (including Bruno Putzeys).
It is too bad that so may here seem to have little experience remembering what a real instrument sounds like, and being able to evaluate systems/components via a real reference.
I am done with this thread, as there is no further point to spending time here.